Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

I feel like I want to scream and yell and whoop and jump off of something. Why? Because I have just finished debut author Veronica Roth's Divergent. And, it's one of the best YA books I've ever read. For real.

The world of Divergent is broken up into factions. Literally. There are five of them: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. Everyone in this dystopian society belongs to one of these five factions. Unless, of course, you're Divergent. Then you could belong to more than one faction and you're considered dangerous. And you could be killed for it.

Beatrice, the main character, is about to turn sixteen, when she will go through the simulations that will recommend her to one of the five factions. She was raised in Abnegation, but can choose whichever faction she wants. If she chooses a faction other than Abnegation, she will not see her family but maybe a few times for the rest of her life.

Which is on her mind. She loves her parents and her brother, Caleb, but cannot stand the idea of staying in the Abnegation faction for the rest of her life. She is sick of denying herself basic pleasures--good food, wearing colorful clothing, looking in the mirror--and of having to always put others first. When her simulation results are inconclusive and she learns that she is Divergent, she has a decision to make. She now knows for sure that she could enter into Abnegation or Dauntless, a daredevil faction filled with tattooed adrenaline junkies.

Once she chooses, she cannot go back. Her life will change forever and as the peace of the five factions erodes into chaos, she will find that her Divergent personality is more of a help than a liability.

I don't want to give away too much of this story, especially since it's not out until May. But, holy man. If you're at all a fan of dystopian reads, of the Hunger Games, if you need a new Katniss Everdeen in your life, if you love great, dynamic characters and strong female leads then this read is for you. The world that is developed in this book is solid and interesting to think about on so many levels. I can see using this book in my classroom (afterall, how long can I continue to teach the Hunger Games when more and more of my students are reading it well before their junior year!).

I read this book as part of an ARC tour (Book It Forward) and cannot wait to purchase my very own copy. I am so very excited by this new series and this new author. It's amazing. When you read it, come back and tell me what you think!